House T, designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects, is a unique two person house and office located in Tokyo, Japan. Considering the house is only accessible by a narrow alley and is surrounded on all sides by other buildings, the space was a major challenge for this design. However, the house turned out to be surprisingly airy and open thanks to having only one central column supporting catwalk floors that frame the limited space instead of occupying it. Each floor can be navigated using 4.6 foot tall openings and floors are connected by a stair or ladder, one of which leads to a roof terrace. Take a look at this video by JA+U and our earlier article for a better understanding of this novel space!
The Water / Cherry House by Japanese firm Kengo Kuma Associates is located on a cliff along one of Japan’s many beautiful coastlines. The home is a series of separate enclosures connected by open-air walkways that run between water and rock landscapes, fusing interior and exterior spaces into one. Various screens in the house can be opened to further connect living spaces with the outdoors, exposing panoramic vistas onto the home’s lush, peaceful surroundings to create a structure that is truly in tune with its natural environment. Check out this video by JA+U for a tour!
Two Izu retirees hired architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima to design them a home equipped with a neighborhood bookshop and cafe. The Japanese practice stepped up to the challenge and constructed an elegant, curved structure whose white walls and wooden ceiling hug the hundred degree undulating street on which its located and embraces the wooded forest it backs to. The home – which features two bedrooms, a kitchen, cafe, bookshop and atelier – is accessed beneath a bridged part of the structure and organized as a sequence. Take a tour through this interesting space with this short video made by JA+U Magazine.
This minimalist elementary school, located in Kumamoto and designed by Japanese architects Kazuhiro Kojima and Kazuko Akamatsu (CAt), is designed to seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor space. Within the building, individual classrooms and spaces are loosely formed by L-shaped walls that feature foldable doors and flexible components. An abundance of courtyards and airy walkways are just some of the highlights, along with a wood deck activity space found on top of the roof.
Video via JA+U.
Chika Kijima Architect’s Office + O.F.D.A. transformed a cluster of three existing homes into this work/live haven for a pair of musicians. The naturally lit interiors of the single-story Overlapped House features a studio, kitchen, hall, ample amounts of storage and a well-buffered sleeping quarters.
In this video, JA+U interviews minimalist Japanese architect Shinichi Ogawa of Shinichi Ogawa and Associates. Ogawa describes the “austerity” and “organization” of minimalist design in regard to different projects. In residences, where flexibility and options are important, he says that the minimalistic approach grants a wide range of possibilities, providing open and flexible spaces that connect with the site. Ogawa describes the a range of projects that use simple forms and expressions to interact with the environment and accentuate the surroundings.
JA+U presents this brief interview with Japanese Architect Kumiko Inui of the Office of Kumiko Inui. The interview gives an inside look at to how architects choose to design. In Inui’s case, she explains how drawing and sketching is a way for her to explore her ideas in concepts, schematics and tectonics. Sometimes these ideas are not fully formed and Inui uses sketching as a strategy to let her mind wander and unfold her various thoughts on the architectural problems before her. Through iteration and reinterpretation, Inui explains how an idea from the depths of her subconscious, eventually surfaces.